Westminster Voice Faculty Present Showcase

Performing opera arias and music theater hits plus jazz and American standards
Monday, October 18, 2010

Westminster Choir College will present a Voice Faculty Showcase on Friday, October 29, at 8 p.m. in Bristol Chapel on the Westminster Choir College of Rider University campus in Princeton.  Admission is free.

 The program will feature members of Westminster’s voice faculty performing opera and musical theater hits as well as some jazz and American standard pieces.  The singers will be Mariann Cook, soprano; Margaret Cusack, soprano; Elem Eley, baritone; Rochelle Ellis, soprano; Thomas Faracco, tenor; Nancy Froysland Hoerl, soprano; Robin Leigh Massie, soprano; Mark Moliterno, bass; Carolann Page, soprano and Charles Walker, tenor.  They will be accompanied by pianists and faculty members Frank Abrahams, Akiko Hosaki, Louis F. Goldberg and Philip Orr.

 Mariann Cook is a professor of Music Theater Voice at Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts as well as a professional singer and actress who has performed on Broadway. She formerly was on the voice faculty at the University of Oklahoma Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre. She has also been a soloist in dozens of Broadway Symphonic Evenings nationally and can be heard on a recording of West Side Story as Anita.

 Soprano Margaret Cusack made her New York City Opera debut in 1985 as Micaela in Carmen.  She then became a leading soprano with the company with whom she created the role of the Empress Alexandra in the world premiere of Jay Reise’s Rasputin with the company.  She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Elektra in 1999 under the baton of James Levine.

Elem Eley enjoys a remarkably varied career that ranges from opera, oratorio and recital to premieres of contemporary vocal music.   He is featured on four recently released recordings.  Two are on the Albany label: a solo album with J.J. Penna, Drifts and Shadows: American Song for the New Millennium; and a featured group of Three Antarctica Songs on Laurie Altman's new CD, On Course.  He is also in the cast of the premiere recording of the Hagen/Muldoon opera, Shining Brow.s. Additionally, he is featured on a recording of Steven Sametz's Dulcis Amor, with the Princeton Singers and tenor John Aler.

Soprano Rochelle Ellis has distinguished herself in a broad repertoire that extends from Bach and Beethoven to Verdi, Barber and Gershwin.  Frequently engaged by today’s leading conductors, many of Ms. Ellis’ most outstanding career successes have occurred in the concert hall. She has taught in the Rider EOP summer pre-college program, as well as in the Westminster Conservatory High School Summer Vocal Institute, Middle School Vocal Camp and High School Solo Vocal Artists Camp.

Thomas Faracco holds degrees in organ, conducting and voice from Westminster Choir College.  He continued vocal studies at Indiana University with the famed soprano and teacher Margaret Harshaw. A frequent oratorio and concert soloist, he has appeared with a number of orchestras throughout the country including the St. Louis, Minnesota and Vermont symphonies as well as the Cincinnati Opera and Marlboro Music Festival.

Soprano Nancy Froysland Hoerl has performed in Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom. An active chamber musician, she was a founding member of the award-winning Grand Chamber Players of Wilmington, Del. She has appeared as guest artist of the Allegro Society of New Jersey with the Philadelphia Virtuoso Orchestra, and she is a frequent guest artist of the Wilmington Musical Festival, whose artistic director and Festival Quartet are members of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Robin Leigh Massie, soprano, has established herself as a versatile artist in opera, concert and musical theatre. She has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra for six consecutive seasons performing in its “Yuletide Celebration.” She has sung with the New York City Ballet in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and she can be heard onthe  Westminster Choir’s recording(Like As a Hart as the soprano soloist in Mozart's “Laudate Dominum.”

Bass-baritone Mark Moliterno has performed principle operatic roles throughout the United Stated, Canada, Great Britain and the Far East as Falstaff in Verdi’s Falstaff, Escamillo in Carmen, Germont in La Traviata, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La Bohème, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Leporello in Don Giovanni and Falke in Die Fledermaus. Mr. Moliterno is a frequent soloist on concert stages including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall.

Carolann Page has performed across genres, from opera, concert, Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater to television, originating roles and putting her own personal spin on well-know ones.  Most importantly, she continues to perform and pursue work as a singer/actor in all media. As a director, she has staged productions for the Circle Rep Lab in New York City, Colorado's Music In The Mountains, NYU and Carnegie Mellon University.

Tenor Charles Walker has been praised for his characterizations as well as his singing. He has sung with opera companies and orchestras in Europe, the United States and South America. Mr. Walker appeared on Broadway in the hit drama, Strider. His other theater credits include productions at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, the Chelsea Theatre Center in New York City and the Wolf Trap Barns theaters.

Frank Abrahams is director of Westminster’s Center for Critical Pedagogy and founder and artistic director of the Westminster Summer Music Theatre Workshop for High School performers.  He holds degrees from Temple University and New England Conservatory.

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Akiko Hosaki, piano, and Rochelle Ellis, soprano